There are two things I constantly worry about as a professional photography. The budget that I have allotted for each photography project and my time.
Professional photographers spend varying amounts on their overhead, cost of gear acquisition, gear depreciation, cost of storage, salary of employees, gas and representation fees among other things.
We tend to overlook time as an important resource. Professional photographers have ideally paid their dues. They have gotten the necessary experience through the years to claim that they are pros not only because they charge for their services but also because of the quality of their work and the service that they render.
I harp to my students about the fact that the pay is the same whether it takes you two minutes or five hours to produce the money for the client. Professional photographers don't necessarily get paid by the hour. We like to get paid for the job. It's in our best interest to produce results in the shortest amount of time. This will allow us to move on to the next project and generate more income. I used to store and deliver my digital files to my clients on either CDs or DVDs. The megapixel count of our digital cameras have steadily increased over the years. The file size of the images have become bigger. What I used to store and handover to a client on a single DVD now has to span several DVDs.
It takes time to burn a CD or DVD. I really felt that my time could be better spent rather than waiting for my computer to eject a DVD so that I could insert another blank one.
Other professional photographers have spoken to me about the same matter. It was through our casual conversations that it dawned on me that it would be better if I switched to using USB flash drives for some jobs and submit that to my client.
This brings me back to the concern of my budget. A USB flash drive costs more. True. But my time is worth more than the added cost. The added cost is also that I can factor into my operational expense and pass off to my client. This won't work for all photographers and shooting projects. But why not make the client pay for the added cost of using an USB flash drive instead? They've paid for it. They'll be getting it and you won't ask for it back. It's theirs to keep. Your profit margin will remain the same.
I know of one professional photographer who will always use USB flash drives that have a white plastic casing. He customizes his flash drives by having his name printed on them. It makes it look more personalized and more professional.
The basic logic that I am using is that the more I can do in a shorter amount of time means more income.
I think it's great that there are now USB 3.0 flash drives available from manufacturers like Transcend. It's takes advantage of the speed of the USB 3.0 slots found on today's computers. It is also backward compatible with the older USB 2.0 slots.
One client has told me that it is now easier for them to copy my files to their different computers because I submitted them using a flash drive.
The client is happy. I incur no additional cost. I save time. I can move on to the next shoot.